'''Carnivora''' (; from Latin (language)|Latin
''carō'' (stem ''carn-'') "flesh", + ''vorāre'' "to devour") is a diverse Order (biology)|order
that includes over 280 species of eutheria|placental mammal
s. Its members are formally referred to as '''carnivorans''', whereas the word "carnivore
" (often popularly applied to members of this group) can refer to any meat-eating organism. Carnivorans are the most diverse in size of any mammalian order, ranging from the least weasel
(''Mustela nivalis''), at as little as and , to the polar bear
(''Ursus maritimus''), which can weigh up to , to the southern elephant seal
(''Mirounga leonina''), whose adult males weigh up to and measure up to in length.
Some carnivores, such as Felidae|cats
, obligate carnivore|depend entirely on meat
for their nutrition. Others, such as raccoon
s and bear
s, depending on the local habitat, are more...